Skip to main content

Full text of "The Church and modern socialism"

See other formats

The Church 


Modern Socialism. 

An EssaV 


REV. D. V. WARNER, M. A., {Columbia) 
Rector of Christ Church, Shelburne, X. S. 

Any profit which may arise from the sale of 
this pamphlet will be given to the building fund 
of AH Saints' Cathedral, Halifax, N. S. 

The Church 


Modern Socialism 

An Essay 


REV. D. V. WARNER, M. A., {Columbia) 

Rector of Christ Church, Shelburne, N. S. 

News Publishing Co., Ltd. 

Truro, N. S. 



' I *HIS essay was written at the request of the 
members of the Rural Deanery of Amherst, 
Nova Scotia, and read at a meeting of that 
Deanery held at Lower Stewiacke on May 26th, 
1909. It is published at the kind suggestion of 
members of the Deanery, and of other friends 
who were good enough to read the manuscript, 
and to express the opinion that it might prove of 
some little interest, if offered to the public. The 
original idea of issuing it as a newspaper or maga- 
zine article was abandoned in favor of the present 

To those who object to the title on the ground 
that it is too large and inclusive for a short essay, 
the explanation is offered that it is not of the 
writer's own choosing. In this brief survey only 
a few words can be said about the chief aspects of 
such an extensive and important subject. 

D. V. Warner. 

Shelburne, N. S., 

July 27th, 1909. 


The Church and Modern 

/. Definitions. 

IN order to appreciate the relations which exist 
between these two forces, one mnst begin 
with definitions, lest the one be accepted in 
the narrow sense as a body of Christians, 
and the other be misjudged and misunderstood. 
By the Church is meant the whole number of the 
baptized, lacking at the present time the power 
which comes from unity in method as well as in 
aim, an organization existing in and adapted to 
the purpose of transforming society, of whatever 
kind, wherever found, claiming to possess means 
of interpreting, uplifting and advancing life, in- 
dividual and social. 

On the other hand Modern Socialism has been 
variously defined, and according to its best ex- 
ponents, at times inaccurately and unfairly. It 
would seem that one might arrive at a working 
definition by distinguishing it from Sociology. 
Both are comparatively recent terms to describe 
departments of investigation into the relations 
which obtain, or should obtain, among people 


associated in communities for common ends, 
though the literature claimed for both has a his- 
tory extending over more than two thousand 
years. Sociology is a scientific study of society 
as it is, its aim being primarily the collection and 
arrangement of facts about it. Though not yet 
a science in the sense that e. g. Chemistry is a 
science, it aims to become a complete scientific 
description of society. Its object is to observe 
and tabulate, with a view to arriving at general 
conclusions, the various phenomena of society, 
from the very earliest stage down to the present 
complexity. It notes the place of the individual 
in the community and the influence of his envir- 
onment upon him. It has to do with types of 
mind, and to that extent borders on psychology, 
but its chief way of regarding the individual is as 
a member of society, or socius. 

Socialism, taking its terminology largely 
from Sociology and Economics, is a protest 
against the present state of society, and a thor- 
oughly well organized and advancing cause, 
operating in all countries of higher civilization 
with the aim of securing equal rights and oppor- 
tunities for all. The state of society created by 
the fact that the greater part of the total wealth 
is in the hands of a small non-producing class, 
and that the vast majority of the population 
divides a comparatively small fraction of the 
wealth, and does practically all the producing 
labor, is the condition which accounts for the ac- 


tivity of the socialist movement and produces its 
proposed solution. The late Henry George was 
by no means a foremost political economist, and 
he has only a small following to-day, but he did 
say occasionally something to indicate apprecia- 
tion of the gravity of the problem produced by 
these conditions. In referring to the fact that 
not only the greater part of the money of Eng- 
land, but also its means of production and natural 
resources, are in the hands of the nobility and 
gentry, he says that every salmon which comes 
up from the sea might just as well be labelled 
1 For Lord or Lady So and So with God Al- 
mighty ' s compliments ! ' ' 

Economic socialists look in every country to 
the ballot as the great means to the end they 
have in view. With all its faults, it is the 
business of parliament to govern a country in 
the interest of the class to which the majority of 
its members belong. Socialism of this militant 
type is, therefore, a political movement, aim- 
ing to secure by legislation public control of pub- 
lic utilities, and to put an end to alleged abuses 
in the systems of taxation in operation, where- 
by, according to the contention, large corpora- 
tions representing great accumulations of capital 
avoid their fair share of public burdens, which, 
directly or indirectly, falls on the defenceless 
poor. Socialism is denned by one of its best- 
known advocates as u a social system based on 
the collective ownership of the means of wealth 

production and distribution, carried on co-opera- 
tively by all who are physically and mentally 

able to work compensation for services 

being on the basis of to each according to his 
deeds, less his proportionate share of social 
expenses." (Dr. Aley). 

II. Socialism Misunderstood. 

Misrepresentations of Socialism are common, 
chiefly unintentional, the commonest among them 
being that the teaching includes a dividing-up of 
property. Though Socialists may be inconsist- 
ent in saying so, in view of their platform prin- 
ciples, it is true that they have never advocated 
anything as revolutionary as this. If it be logi- 
cal, it is the logic of the enemy. No Socialist 
ever proposed such a plan. What they advocate 
is a system which will do away with artificial in- 
equalities, and give absolute equality of oppor- 
tunity. This guards against the charge that they 
wish to make all men equal. That, they recog- 
nize, cannot be done, but the practice of passing 
on from generation to generation the results of 
labor, and thus producing inequality among men, 
would be done away with. Under a Socialist 
regime it is claimed that the greatest freedom 
would be allowed, all the greater because enjoyed 
to the same degree by everybody. Every citizen 
would be quite free to do as he pleased with the 
results of his work. He might indulge in ex- 
pensive tastes for objects of art, fast horses, etc., 

or he might save his money, according to his 
disposition. The inheritance of this property 
would be denied, however, to any individual, 
society being the only possible inheritor of prop- 

The Budget brought down by Mr. Lloyd- 
George, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the 
British House of Commons on April 29th, 1909, 
provides for an inheritance tax varying from four 
per cent, for estates from £5,000 to £10,000 to 
fifteen per cent, for estates of over £1,000,000. 
Socialism also taxes inheritances, but the tax 
being one hundred per cent, the principle of the 
inheritance tax as at present applied is pushed to 
its logical conclusion. It is interesting to note 
that amid the storm of remonstrances provoked 
by the Budget from representatives of industries 
affected by increased taxation, charges of social- 
istic tendencies were made upon the Chancellor. 

With regard to the position of the sexes, and 
to marriage, the Socialist contention is frankly 
for equal civil and political rights for both men 
and women. The only way in which, according 
to its upholders, the Socialist doctrine would 
affect marriage, would be to free women from 
financial dependence. It is claimed, however, 
that the effect of this would be that wealth, am- 
bition, desire for a home or for social position as 
foundations for marriage would disappear. As 
marriage contracts built on these unnatural foun- 
dations are those which provide material for 

divorce-court scandals, it might appear that in 
this part of their propaganda the Socialists have 
something worth serious thought, at any rate. 

III. The Socialist and Religion. 

When, however, we come to the Socialist at- 
titude toward religion, we are met at the very 
outset by a statement which shows that if there 
has been misunderstanding, it has not been all 
on one side. After asserting that the ethical 
teachings of Christianity are in no way opposed 
to Socialism, and saying that the Golden Rule of 
Christianity might well be the Socialist motto, 
the Socialist Catechism, an official publication, 
answers the question : " Is Socialism opposed to 
religion ? " by the astonishing statement and 
contrast : " Religion concerns man's future life ; 
Socialism his present life." If we are to infer 
from this that Socialists hold that religion does 
not concern man's present life, then we are bound 
to take exception to that phase of the system at 
any rate. 

But when we come to consider the position of 
the Socialist toward organized Christianity, and 
their way of appreciating and understanding the 
teachings of Christ, the position they occupy is at 
once seen to be a very strong one, supported not 
by isolated texts of Scripture, not by warping and 
twisting, but by a general view of the New Tes- 
tament. In the Anglican Communion there are 
many ardent Socialists among the clergy, ^.nd the 


official attitude of that Church toward Socialism 
ante-dates by several years the appearance of 
either a Labor Party or a Socialist organ in Eng- 
land, astonishing as such a statement may seem 
when we consider the innate conservatism which 
is a leading feature of that Communion. In 1888, 
at the Lambeth Conference, the following resolu- 
tion was passed : ' * The Christian Church is 
bound, following the teaching of her Master, to 
aid every wise endeavor which has for its object 
the material and moral welfare of the poor. Her 
Master taught her that all men are brethren, not 
because they share the same blood, but because 
they have a common heavenly Father. He fur- 
ther taught her that if any members of this spirit- 
ual family were greater, richer, or better than 
the rest, they were bound to use their special 
means or ability in the service of the whole .... 
It will contribute no little to draw together the 
various classes of society if the clergy endeavor 
in sermons and lectures to set forth the true 
principle of society, showing how Property is a 
trust, to be administered for the good of Human- 
ity, and how much of what is good and true in 
Socialism is to be found in the precepts of 
Christ. ' ' The Church has therefore foreshad- 
owed the Socialist movement to a great extent, 
set the seal of its approval upon it in general 
terms, and that may account for the fact that to- 
day, in England, where from the conditions of 
life, and the constant sharp contrast between ex- 
tremes in social position and opportunity, Social- 


ism is becoming a power which will have to be 
reckoned with politically, the clergy of the 
National Chnrch are among its trusted leaders. 

IV. Stage of the Socialist Movement. 

This is true of a few, but Socialism as a 
modern movement, distinguished from the prin- 
ciples which it maintains in common with the 
Church's teaching, is as yet too recent in origin 
to have come before the whole Church as an issue 
to be dealt with, if I may so express it. A few 
clergy are investigating it, a smaller number are 
welcomed in the councils of its foremost expon- 
ents and upholders, but the whole Christian 
Church has not yet taken Socialism seriously, at 
any rate on this side of the Atlantic. The ques- 
tion in the minds of thousands is, will it ever 
reach a point where it must be considered, where 
it will not do to avoid it ? And the answer one 
would like to give to a question of that sort would 
be : If there is any possibility that Socialism may 
at any time in the near future become a power 
strong enough to cope with social problems, why 
wait for that time to come ? It has been very 
well said of new inventions, movements, etc., 
that they all have to pass through various phases 
before success is finally won. The first is a 
general indifference on the part of the public ; 
the next is more or less active hostility ; the third 
reluctant acceptance ; and the last, a claim on the 
part of their former enemies to have been the 


real originators. It may be that Socialism has 
passed the first of these stages ; let us hope, for 
the sake of what may be the case later on, that 
the second, if it must be undergone, will be short. 
How much hostility there is on the part of the 
Church it would be hard to say, but governments 
have certainly in many countries reached the 
stage of active, open warfare against the move- 
ment. Socialists claim that this indicates pro- 
gress, and the saner and more experienced among 
them are disposed not to force matters, but to al- 
low their leaven to work slowly toward what they 
naturally regard as ultimate success. That the 
contention of the Socialists is by no means vision- 
ary is clearly shown by the remarkable results 
which for the past fifteen years have followed 
upon the establishment of Socialist rule in sev- 
eral important French municipalities. Though 
the French Socialist reminds us that such ex- 
amples are not fair illustrations of Socialism, biit 
only the best it can do when constantly ham- 
pered by a hostile central government, some 
really remarkable changes have been made. 

V. Roubaix. 

In the city of Roubaix, for example, an im- 
portant manufacturing centre of the Department 
of Lille, eight years of Socialist rule, as com- 
pared with the preceding eight years of Bourgeois 
administration, resulted in a direct improvement 
in every institution of a public character, in 


every department of civic affairs, and in the es- 
tablishment of several new agencies for the bene- 
fit of the public. 

The child and its welfare are especially the 
consideration of the city council from its birth, 
when in the case of the very poor free medical 
attendance is provided, through every phase of its 
education. Delicate and anemic children are 
sent to the seaside in summer at the city's ex- 
pense. And yet with all this extra public ex- 
pense, the city accounts showed last year a 
balance in favor of the city of more than $267,- 
000. This result was reached chiefly by collect- 
ing from wealthy corporations which had former- 
ly avoided their full share of the public expense, 
to the very limit of the amount imposed. 

VI. A Former Problem. 

We can all follow the progress of the new 
science of the nineteenth century through the 
various stages mentioned above, and we are all of 
us quite aware of the effect to-day of the blind 
conservatism of the Church of a few decades ago 
in its determination to maintain traditional atti- 
tudes toward Holy Scripture, in spite of the new 
light which we in our day can see God Himself 
was throwing on the difficulties of that Sacred 
Book. The agitation belongs to the past, it is 
true. Science and Religion are being understood 
to supplement, rather than overlap each other. 
We need both, and we recognize their respective 

spheres all the better on account of what was 
once called the conflict between them. We are 
not responsible for that supposed conflict ; it be- 
longs to an age happily past, and it is probable 
that in the Anglican Communion, where the 
greatest mistakes were made first, and the most 
important results achieved for Christianity in 
general during the reconstruction period which 
followed, practically every thinking man it in- 
cludes, clergy and laity alike, has a different, 
wider and from every standpoint more satisfactory 
way of regarding Holy Scripture than prevailed 
among their predecessors of two generations ago. 
But the mischief done remains among the multi- 
tudes who do not or cannot think, and the conflict 
above referred to, which they suppose to be still 
raging, provides them with an excuse for indiff- 
erence to Christianity, not sure, as they imagine, 
of its Old Testament foundations. They wander 
over the battle fields of fifty years ago, and exult 
in the discovery of exploded shells, while the 
present day struggle is taking place far away. 
No ! The difficulty of to-day is not with the 
half -educated man. Let him alone, and go 
ahead. The time will come when he will realize 
how far the Church is really ahead of him, and 
it may be that early twentieth-century missionary 
activity among men in the Church may be the be- 
ginning of the new age when, among other im- 
portant things, he will understand and appreciate 
the position of historic Christianity in its attitude 
toward science. 


VII. The Present One. 

The problem of the Church of to-day is with 
the laboring man, the man of toil, the man of the 
union or brotherhood, the man who is striving to 
make terms with capital, and who feels his power 
to-day as never before. This is the man to whom 
the Socialist appeals, whom he is trying to rouse 
to an appreciation of the truth that the improve- 
ment in his position rests entirely with himself, 
and that when he is finally convinced that politi- 
cal parties represent only the employing classes 
in their statesmanship, however much they must 
depend on all classes for support, he will rise and 
place his own representatives in the legislature 
of his country, and have it governed to favor 
those who produce, and secure to them a fair pro- 
portion of what they produce. The problem of 
the Church of to-day is with this man. Whether 
he is judging the Church harshly or not is a 
question not directly pertinent here. The point 
is that he does judge the Church, and already 
roused to a sense of his power by elaborate organi- 
zations extending to almost every sort of skilled 
human occupation and to many that require no 
particular skill, and with a smattering of know- 
ledge about old controversies obtained from peri- 
odicals and from the cheap lecturer, the working 
man has arrived at the stage where he thinks he 
can ignore the Church. That is his position in 
thousands of cases. He needs leading, he requires 
the Gospel, and both are being supplied to him 


by advocates of modern Socialism, whose activity 
just now outside the Church, though not outside 
Christianity, is being carried on at a wonderful 
rate of progress by means of socialistic clubs, 
lectures, periodicals, pamphlets, etc. 

VIII. Our Lord and Society. 

Let us examine now the Socialist's position 
with regard to Christ and Christianity, and see if 
the statement made about isolated texts can be 
substantiated. How did Christ come into the 
world ? This is a kind of pivotal question with 
which one may begin. God the Son became Man 
is the Christian belief. He could have come in 
any class He chose, and His own people expected 
Him to come as a great Prince. Had He come 
in that way, had He been born to the world's 
purple, to inherit all the power of an Oriental 
potentate, all the pomp and luxury which are so 
characteristically Eastern, influential men of His 
own nation would have welcomed Him. But He 
was born in a stable. As a Man, He was a 
laborer, an artizan, a workman. He worked at 
a trade until He was thirty, and then choosing 
for companions a few other working men, He 
tramped about the country as One who had not 
where to lay His head, doing innumerable 
works of mercy besides preaching spiritual regen- 
eration. He blessed the poor, condemned the 
thoughtless and idle rich, denounced the proud 
teachers and leaders of the national religion, and, 


after three brief years of this revolutionary ac- 
tivity, He was executed by the law of the land. 
Though detested by the religious authorities of 
the day, it was said of Him, significantly enough, 
that the "common people heard Him gladly." 
The question His enemies asked in scorn is a 
question that persists. It is needed to-day, and 
is being asked anew : u Is not this the Car- 
penter ?' ' The Socialist tells us that the work of 
Christ as Carpenter, not Master only but Master 
Builder, in Human Society, has never been done ; 
that He outlined the work and left it for organ- 
ized Christianity to do ; and that His reconstruc- 
tion has been thwarted by the Church's departing 
from the original plan ; the specifications have 
not been followed. He points out that, as a mat- 
ter of fact, Christianity is ahead of the Church. 
The Church professes only at the best a miser- 
able apology for the teaching of her Head. 
These strictures are severe, and no doubt open 
up room for discussion. They are one-sided, as 
harsh criticisms generally are, but they contain 
a certain amount of truth. There is a little fire 
somewhere, the amount of smoke showing that 
it is well concealed. 

IX. His Teaching New. 

The teaching of Christ was much more than 
a complete reversal of what the Jews expected. 
It was a new phenomenon in the world's history. 
No one before had ever thought of placing on 


such a basis the message of social regeneration. 
Even the noblest of Greek philosophers, con- 
structors of ideal states, had failed to take ac- 
count of labor, much less dignify it by personal 
association. They had based their ideal repub- 
lics on slavery. Plato considered the masses as 
possessing but half a soul, and Aristotle regarded 
slaves as u living machines" and women as 
" nature's failures to produce men." Women 
were individuals of an inferior species and a 
slave was an utterly despicable being. (Politics 
Bk. I, Chap. 13). In Athens of 309 B. C. there 
are said to have been 400,000 slaves out of a 
total population of 515,000. 

But by the Incarnation of the Son of God, 
not only was labor given its true position, and 
dignified as never before, but the unity of the 
whole race of men was for all time proclaimed. 
Humanity in its solidarity was taken into the 
Divine, and every human being declared to be 
infinitely sacred and precious, and with a right 
to the fullest development. Any exploitation of 
man by man, which tends to infringe upon that 
right ; any measures which interfere with the 
freedom of the less fortunate multitude to the in- 
terest of the successfully grasping and uncrupu- 
lous few, are so many departures from the Chris- 
tian standard. 

The indications we find that Christ's real 
work and the nature of His mission were under- 
stood from the first by those most closely associ- 


ated with Him are interesting to set over against 
the want of appreciation shown by the people 
generally. That His doctrine wonld be revolu- 
tionary seemed to be known to His Mother be- 
fore His birth ; otherwise it is difficult to explain 
the language of the Magnificat : ' ' He hath scat- 
tered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, 
and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled 
the hungry with good things, and the rich he 
hath sent empty away." The song which pro- 
claimed His Birth pointed to social fellowship as 
the accompaniment of true religion : u Glory to 
God in the highest, and on earth peace, good 
will toward men . ' ' 

Whether by intuition, the foreseeing power 
of the prophet, or how we are to explain it, John 
the Baptist knew also about the message of Christ 
and its import. "Every valley," he cried, 
11 shall be filled, and every mountain and hill 
shall be brought low. ' ' And to the inquiry what 
they should do, his instructions to people were 
to practice plain communism : u He that hath 
two coats, let him impart to him that hath none, 
and he that hath food, let him do likewise." 
(R. V. Luke III, 11). Socialists make the claim 
that this is precisely what they are trying to do 
— to level up the valleys in society by bringing 
its hills and mountains low, to scatter the proud, 
to satisfy the hungry by an equal distribution, 
and, in general, to change the present very un- 
christian state of society, producing conditions 


under which the poor are sent empty away, and 
the wealth of the rich increases without any effort 
or care of theirs. 

How significant it is, too, that our Lord's 
first public utterance proclaimed the real truth 
of His mission in terms which agreed precisely 
with the intuitions of His Mother and John the 
Baptist. On the occasion when, as a young Man, 
He went into the synagogue at Nazareth and 
stood up in the service to read from the Scrip- 
ture, He chose those words of Isaiah which re- 
ferred to the power of the Spirit of the Lord to 
anoint for the prophetic work of preaching good 
tidings to the poor, of proclaiming release to cap- 
tives, recovery of sight to the blind, liberty to 
them that are bruised. In order that there need 
be no misunderstanding, He referred this great 
work directly to Himself. * ' This day is this 
Scripture fulfilled in your ears. n 

X. Duty — Two Kinds. 

In considering the teaching of Christ, Social- 
ism maintains that modern Christianity has not 
given a fair presentation of its two sides. We 
hear, and we need to hear, much about our duty 
to God, but Christ declared of the other duty that 
it was u like unto it." Both parts of duty are 
taught in the Church Catechism, and if the So- 
cialist contention be right, we need not look for 
some new form of Christianity, but make more 
of the old. That is the substance of Socialistic 

teaching all through. It advocates a return to 
the Christianity of the Man, Jesus Christ. It is 
not asking us to be unorthodox, but to be really 
orthodox, more especially about this matter of 
duty to our neighbor, put by the most profound 
of the Evangelists before the other duty : ' ' For 
he that loveth not his brother whom he hath 
seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not 
seen." (I John IV, 20.) 

XL Socialists and Hymnology. 

In every part of our Lord's Ministry the 
Socialist finds that the attitude of the Master 
toward life and duty which he unhesitatingly 
adopts as the ideal for Socialism, contrasts more 
or less sharply with the dispensation of the 
teachings of that Master, as carried on by or- 
ganized religious bodies of to-day. The Socialist 
e. g. considers that much of the hymnology of 
our day is misleading and in many cases positive- 
ly untrue, when the sentiments which it contains 
are set side by side with the work and message 
of Christ. To take a few examples : ' ' There is 
a blessed home," u Brief life is here our por- 
tion," , u Oh, what the joy and the glory must 
be," " Oh Paradise, Oh Paradise, 'tis weary 
waiting here, " ' ' I 'm but a stranger here ; heaven 
is my home," u Weary of earth and laden with 
sin," " Jerusalem, my happy home," "Jerusa- 
lem on high, my song and city is," "For thee, 
O dear, dear country." Such hymns may be 


very beautiful from a poetical or sentimental 
point of view, but it can hardly be denied that 
they tend to depreciate this life in favor of that 
beyond, while, on the contrary, in every other 
enterprise the tendency in the normal man is to 
cling to this life with the greatest tenacity. 
There is practically no such thing as finding it 
weary waiting here, or looking to heaven and 
longing to enter in. We do not feel like stran- 
gers here, or long for any other country. Con- 
trast this sort of false Christian sentiment with 
the general result of the majority of Christ's 
miracles, and we find that our Lord restored 
people to health and life, enabling them to go 
back to work and duty, and to enjoy the measure 
of time allotted to men. A large part of the 
Master's effort was devoted to fighting disease 
and premature death, dispelling the one, and re- 
storing to life those whom the other had over- 

XII . Our Lord } s Signs. 

In the Greek these acts are called by a word 
which really means signs, — significant deeds. 
And the Socialist concludes that they should have 
more significance for us than they commonly 
have ; that we are not followers of Christ unless 
we are fighting against conditions prevalent 
among a large part of the population everywhere, 
which make for disease and death, to say nothing 
of hardship, misery and unhappiness. And 
Christ has said that this kind of practical Christ- 


ianity is a test of belief on Him : He that 
believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do 
also." (John XIV, 12.) A striking indication 
of the need of more practical Christianity is fur- 
nished by the melancholy fact that in England, 
according to a well-known anthority, of children 
born in the laboring classes 55 per cent, die 
before reaching the age of five years, as against 
18 per cent, among the middle and upper classes. 

The Master, among other severe sayings, had 
one which applies with force to those who de- 
spise or offend little ones. What, then, mnst 
be His estimate of present-day Christians, people 
professing His Name and teaching, living, un- 
moved it may be, amid this ghastly slaughter of 
the innocents ? What can He think of us, who 
hear Sunday after Sunday from the altar, in our 
most solemn service, the command, "Thou shalt 
do no murder, ' ' unless we are laboring with all 
our power to prevent this wholesale destruction 
of children? " For," says the Socialist, "unless 
we are endeavoring to check this, their blood is 
on our hands. " 

The signs of Christ teach us also to increase 
the comfort of people as He did when He fed the 
multitudes, and their enjoyment, as He did at 
Cana of Galilee. 

XIII. His Parables. 

As examples of our Lord's parables in their 
bearing upon the relation of the Church to 


Modern Socialism the great series of seven in 
Matthew XIII, illustrating various sides of the 
truth about the Kingdom of Heaven are favor- 
ites among Socialists, for there they see the ideal 
of the Kingdom which to them is a human 
brotherhood, set forth in language of which they 
unhesitatingly approve, and adopt as part of their 
propaganda. Christ came to bind men together 
in love, as well as to uplift and purify their in- 
dividual souls, and these parables are hardly 
intelligible, unless understood in a social sense, 
but taken in that sense they are at once seen to 
be full of meaning, and adapted to conditions now 
existing. They show the great need of such an 
organization to operate among and uplift all 
classes of men, to make them conscious of com- 
mon needs for their common nature. 

' The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of 
mustard seed." Growth from small beginnings 
to great usefulness providing what people in 
every place need. Like the birds of the air who 
come from all directions to lodge in the branches 
of the full-grown mustard- tree, so the nations of 
the world should be able to look to the Kingdom 
of Heaven to provide by the stimulus it should 
give at any rate to the improvement of social 
conditions for justice, fraternity, freedom, peace 
and plenty under the rule of the accepted will of 

1 The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven." 
That is, it is adapted to exist in the very midst 


of, and by its inherent power to transform, 
society. There is no place under modern con- 
ditions of life for ascetic Christianity. The 
world had many centuries of that. If the Church 
is to carry out the phase of its mission described 
in this parable, it must be in the closest touch 
with men in all walks of life. Leaven means 
contact, — constant contact ; it is imbedded in that 
which it is to raise. Our Lord did not fear de- 
filement when associating and breaking bread 
with publicans and sinners. Those who did, 
belong to classes whom he continually denounced 
for the sham and hypocrisy of their lives. 

' ' The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who 
sowed good seed in his field." The Kingdom 
does not consist merely of a number of persons 
of the same kind, but of a vast multitude of 
every kind. It is a field where tares and wheat 
grow together. The servants of the Master are 
aware only in a general way of the presence of 
the tares ; they would not be able to remove 
them without danger to the wheat. Together 
they are to grow then until the harvest. The 
point of the parable seems to be that tares are 
exactly like wheat until the ear appears. Only 
the Master knows the hearts of men ; we have 
to judge as best we can by the outward appear- 
ance, and in this there is great danger of being 
mistaken. But anyone can judge by results, 
and this way of estimating was especially men- 
tioned by Christ : u By their fruits ye shall 
know them." 


u The Kingdom of Heaven is like nnto a 
net, cast into the sea." Every kind of people 
should come within the sweep of the net of 
Christianity. ' Here we have the friends of the 
Kingdom at work, as distinguished from its 
enemies in the preceding parable. Every kind 
is gathered in. Many who want only loaves and 
fishes, many cranks of all sorts, many a Judas, 
creep or climb in, drawn by various attractions. 
Low motives may be abandoned, people may be 
encouraged to be ashamed of them, and to co- 
operate for the good of the Kingdom, and so the 
Kingdom conies more and more to its fulness of 
justice and freedom, of abundance and joy. 

There is another parable, and in some re- 
spects the most important of all, to which the 
Socialist turns for further confirmation of his con- 
tention that modern Christianity lacks the spirit 
of Christ. It is the great Parable of the Judg- 
ment in Matthew XXV. That parable tells us 
what will settle our fate in the next world, and 
nothing is said about church-going, or orthodoxy, 
or conversion, because these are nothing unless 
they lead to practical results. Our final salva- 
tion or condemnation will depend, we are told, 
upon our acts of social usefulness, or the lack of 
them, as the case may be. We shall be placed 
on His Right Hand if we have considered the 
needs of others, if we have, in other words, had 
a faith which was productive of works. What 
better illustration can we have of the solidarity 
of the race which the Incarnation of the Son of 


God involves, and which Socialism maintains to 
the fullest extent, than the fact that our Lord 
here identifies Himself even with a poor, despised 
wretch in a prison, an Eastern prison too, where 
the conditions of inmates would be a living death ! 
To those on the left he says : u Depart, ye 
cursed," not because you were heathen or agnos- 
tic, not for anything you thought or said, but for 
what you did not do. u I was an hungered and 
ye gave me no meat." Christ speaks in the in- 
troduction to this parable of the nations being 
summoned to judgment. In this the Socialist 
sees our Lord's social teaching, invariably found 
side by side with His instructions for the indi- 
vidual life. One cannot be a good Christian 
merely by living a good private life. One must 
be a good citizen, and citizens make or mar 
nations, here brought to judgment. That nation 
will attain a high place in God's favor, which 
takes care to see that its people are all fed, 
clothed, housed and have justice extended to 

For a comparison with social teaching in the 
Old Testament one might recall in this connec- 
tion the words of the Fifth Commandment. 
Apart from the value to individual children under 
their parents' direction and rule at home, the 
Commandment teaches the social fact that respect 
for law and order which is the basis of good citi- 
zenship must be inculcated in the home. Those 
who learn obedience to parents there, will be the 
strength of the nation as adults. And such 


nations will remain " long in the land " they 

It has been urged that the precepts laid down 
in the Sermon on the Mount are ideal, and can- 
not, under present conditions, be carried out in 
practice. Though this must be admitted, and is 
generally recognized by reasonable Socialists, the 
statement is really a confession that something is 
radically wrong with modern society if Christ's 
teaching cannot be applied. Does it represent a 
state of things with which Christians can rest 
content ? Real Christianity is, in fact, far ahead 
of us, and is a sort of ideal at all times, our at- 
tainments being at best but caricatures of that 
which the teaching of Christ, if actually followed, 
would involve. 

XIV. The Lord's Prayer — Social Throughout. 

In their attitude toward the Lord's Prayer, 
Socialists point out that although given origin- 
ally for private use, every part of the prayer has 
a social application. The very first word seems 
to be intended to take us out of individualism. 
Those who have not thought of their brethren on 
earth, cannot, it is urged, address their Father 
in Heaven in any other than a perfunctory man- 
ner. In the second and third petitions we are 
reminded of our free-will. The Divine plan has 
made us free and imperfect, which, with all its 
disadvantages, is infinitely better than being 
automata ! The petitions represent an effort to- 


wards an ideal, and from this the Socialist con- 
cludes that Christians are bound to be idealists, 
or, in their attitude toward social conditions, 
Utopians. If the language of the Lord's Prayer 
means anything, it means that we proclaim our- 
selves fellow- workers with God, with a perfect 
social state as our aim. Ruskin puts the case 
briefly thus . ' ' When you pray ( Thy Kingdom 
come,' you either want it to come or you do not. 
If you do not, you should not pray for it. If 
you do, you must do more than pray for it, you 
must live and labor for it." 

( ' Give us this day our daily bread " is a pe- 
tition entirely social, and world-wide in its scope. 
It recognizes the truth that there is always need 
and want somewhere. Night and the end of the 
day's work here mean morning and the begin- 
ning of work at the antipodes, where there are 
hungry people we may be sure. 

It has been said that the following petition 
has nothing to do with Socialism. The first part 
has not, but the condition is undoubtedly social. 
" As we forgive them that trespass against us." 
As we shall be judged by our treatment of our 
brother, so by our conduct toward him are we 
forgiven. Christ never allows us to get away 
from our neighbor. The common assertion of 
the right of private judgment — tl No man shall 
come between me and my God," is only half true 
after all. The right is supposed to have been 
gained only after centuries of struggle, but is it 


not likely to lead to a selfish individualism, a 
feeling that we are entitled to appropriate the 
special consideration of God for our special needs ? 
The other side of the truth is that every man 
comes between me and my God, and that con- 
dition we place upon ourselves every time we use 
the Lord's Prayer. 

XV. Sacraments. 

The Sacraments are regarded by Socialists as 
being both on their side. In Baptism every child 
is claimed as being in a real sense, and that the 
most important, the equal of every other, differ- 
ence of birth in palace or cottage to the contrary 
notwithstanding. We do not wait for election or 
any proof of what sort of follower of Christ it will 
be, but for the simple reason that it is a human 
being, we bring it into living, vital relation with 
Christ the Head. It has a right to be a present 
inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven. One en- 
thusiastic Socialist has made the discovery that 
the term ' ( original sin" of the Church's teaching 
in connection with Holy Baptism refers primarily 
to an innate tendency to individualism in the un- 
regenerate. But this may, no doubt, be set down 
as more ingenious than probable. 

And the Holy Communion has also for the 
Socialist, as its out-standing feature, the fact that 
it is, too, a Sacrament of equality, not absolute of 
course, but of equality of opportunity. The name 
itself proclaims that those who partake of it are 


bound to live in fellowship with one another. 
There is a hymn with which we are all familiar 
which speaks of u mystic sweet communion 
with those whose rest is won." " But," says 
the Socialist, u it is of more practical importance, 
both as a part of our private preparation for the 
Holy Communion, and as a general guiding 
principle, to have cordial and satisfactory relations 
with those whose work is going on . " In this great 
Sacrament the Church has maintained the com- 
munal character of the highest form of worship. 
The Didache puts it in this plain way : "If you 
are sharers in imperishable things, how much 
more must you be sharers in those things that 
are perishable." Or in other words, "if com- 
municants, .then communists." When a promi- 
nent English Socialist, Rev. S. D. Headlam, said 
that those who came to Holy Communion should 
be holy communists, he caused a stir, and shocked 
a great many people, but he was only making a 
logical statement of his own convictions. The 
communism of the early Church has been forgot- 
ten, and a large part of the energy of Christians is 
devoted to an insistence on the peculiar qualities 
which distinguish, or are supposed to distinguish, 
their own respective and competitive sects, and, 
in their jealousy of and conflict with each other, 
selfish individualism is exalted until they almost 
persuade themselves it is a Christian virtue, 
while the communism of the early Church which 
was a chief element of its strength, surrounded 
as it was by enemies, seems to have been forgot- 


ten, or considered to have passed^ away for good. 

XVI. Common First-Century Ground. 

Thus both the Anglican defender and the 
Socialist reformer look to the Church of the 
apostolic age for inspiration ; the former to es- 
tablish his contention that the communion which 
he represents has not separated in principle from 
" the faith once delivered to the saints," the lat- 
ter to urge a return to the principle of the orig- 
inal communism which he advocates, and from 
which he insists that the Church has unwisely 
departed. Socialism is new only in name ; the 
principle is as old as Christianity, and we are 
told that the Christian Church is intended to be 
a society not merely for teaching a number of 
elaborate doctrines — though they are all import- 
ant for the theoretical and philosophical defence 
of the faith ; not even primarily for maintaining 
a beautiful ritual and worship, calculated to in- 
spire and sustain the spirit of devotion, very 
valuable though all that may be if people are to 
have their faculties developed, but the Church is 
here to-day chiefly for doing on a large scale 
throughout the world, what her Master, when 
here in the flesh, did on a small scale in Pales- 
tine. She is pledged to set her face against suf- 
fering and distress, wherever found, and to seek 
to eliminate not merely the effects, but the causes 
of the lot of so many in this selfish world of 


XVII. Our Lord and the Poor. 

But it may be urged that our Lord said, 
' ' Blessed are ye poor, ' ' and ' ' The poor ye have 
always with you." He did, and Socialists ask 
us not to wrench these famous passages from 
their context, but to consider them under the cir- 
cumstances in which they were used. Behind 
such parts of our Lord's teaching they tell us 
that individualistic Christianity is entrenched to- 
day, whence it draws the inference that poverty 
is a necessary accompaniment of modern ad- 
vanced civilization. The poor are to be advised 
to put up with their lot here, and look confident- 
ly for a great reward hereafter. Resignation and 
submission are to be inculcated as the leading 
Christian virtues. The logical conclusion of this 
interpretation of Christianity has already been 
reached, or at any rate broached, in the astound- 
ing proposal recently made in New York by the 
pastor of a wealthy congregation, that a Church 
be organized for millionaires exclusively. But 
even there the intoxication produced by tremen- 
dous wealth had not reached the stage where 
such a proposal could be received with approval. 
The suggestion roused what real Christianity 
there was latent in the special exclusive set to 
which the pastor belonged, and was condemned. 
The Socialist is able, when occasion requires, to 
employ the strong weapon of ridicule, and ten- 
dencies of this sort caused one of them to remark 
that as a matter of fact and daily experience in 


our Christianity i ' the rich have managed to 
squeeze through the needle's eye in large num- 
bers, and are now comfortably established in the 
poor man's Kingdom," whose teaching is ar- 
ranged to suit their special circumstances. The 
state is no better off than the Church in this re- 
spect. Money is the key which unlocks the 
doors to political or even scholastic honors. 

To return now to the well-known passages 
about the poor, and the Socialist interpretation 
of them. When our Lord said : "Blessed are 
ye poor," He spoke to the plain, rough, unlet- 
tered fishermen and others who were learning 
from Him, and He contrasted their condition 
with that of the Scribes, Pharisees and other 
leaders in Church and State, who were engaged 
at that time in exploiting men of the classes to 
which the disciples belonged, and in persecuting 
the Master. Our Lord said that the disciples, in 
spite of their poverty, were better and happier 
men than the classes who opposed them, and this 
was a simple statement of fact, but it does not 
follow that the teaching drawn from it partly, is 
entitled to point to the grinding poverty found in 
modern centers of culture and civilization as the 
normal condition of life for anybody. And : 
'The poor ye have always with you," is readily 
understood to be equivalent to : " The poor ye 
shall have always with you. " But if Christ had 
said that, it would have been a direct contradic- 
tion to the rest of His teaching. If He had said 
that when His Kingdom was finally established 


there would still be poverty. He would have been 
inconsistent. It was not a prophecy at all. He 
looked back over the history of His people in re- 
trospect, glanced over the existing condition of 
the nation, noted the persistence of poverty, and 
stated as a comment that the poor were always 
with His people, historically, as well as at that 
time. The Socialist argues that is not the same 
thing as saying there always will be poverty. 

XVIII. Christian Justice . 

The Socialist claims that he merely looks for 
justice from the Church. This virtue represents 
a watchword with him. Without it, brotherhood 
in any real sense is impossible. And what he 
means is not that he hopes the Church will treat 
him fairly and give him a hearing, but that he 
may find the Church possessing and adhering to 
justice as an essential of Christianity. The word 
occurs 86 times in the Bible, and is identical in 
meaning with righteousness, but like the word 
Charity it has been largely emptied of meaning. 
When our Lord said : Blessed are they who 
hunger and thirst after righteousness," He 
meant what we would understand by substituting 
the word justice for righteousness. 

The Socialist of theAnglo-Saxon world looks 
hopefully, as we might expect him to, toward the 
historic Church of the English speaking people ; 
toward the communion which commits itself to 
everything for which he contends, at least theo- 
retically, by its authorized formula for beginning 


Morning and Evening Prayer : ' ' Dearly beloved 
brethren" and which in its Sacraments and ap- 
proved teaching maintains steadily the principle 
of equality of opportuiiit}^ for all, and special ad- 
vantages for none. That is the theory at any rate 
which underlies all our religious propaganda, and 
this is not from our side in our anxiety to secure 
weight of the Socialist movement, but is a ready 
and cordial admission from the Socialists them- 
selves. Their candid criticism is that this original 
and precious endowment so well calculated to 
serve us, in our endeavor to do our part in bring- 
ing the nations into the fold of Christ, has been 
overlaid and hampered by the violence of the rich, 
who have taken the Kingdom by force, and they 
cry to us: "Come out from among them." 
They bid us take our stand of the deeds as well 
as the doctrines of the early Church, and the men 
who talk thus earnestly are the men who have a 
Gospel to which the workingman of to-day is 
eagerly listening, whether the Church's message 
draws him or not. This man has not the educa- 
tion, probably, of the non-producer and non- 
thinker of the class above him, and if the Church 
is not reaching and helping him it is for a differ- 
ent reason. He has a more pronounced feeling 
toward the Church ; in the other case it is mere 
indifference in the average man. There is no 
question about the relative usefulness to society of 
these two men, and Socialism, which is espous- 
ing the cause of the workingman and artizan, 
may be pointing the way toward a genuine re- 


generation of society. It remains for ns to see 
that the Chnrch shall lead, if this be really the 
case, and the opportunity is not yet past. The 
more reasonable of the Socialist leaders are ready 
to recognize that Socialism is a comparatively 
new movement. The name dates only from 
1835, and its experience in struggling against 
greed and jealousy and the grasping selfishness 
of mankind, is a short one. It is just learning, 
by limited but painful experience, the magnitude 
of a task upon which the Church has been en- 
gaged for more than eighteen centuries. 

XIX. The Talents. 

Having seen now, in outline, the main fea- 
tures of the indictment which Socialism levels 
against modern Christianity, it may well be 
asked what objections may be taken to the chief 
features of the Socialist programme for reorgan- 
izing society. Many have been offered, for, as 
we have seen, Socialism has reached the stage 
where some notice must be taken of it, and many 
anti-socialists have been developed within the 
past twenty-five years. Leaving out the objec- 
tions which are inspired by nothing but inherent 
hostility to change, and the worship of the past 
merely because it is past, there are real, serious 
difficulties, noted not only by the opponents of 
Socialism, but not yet solved satisfactorily by 
many of its leaders. And the chief of these 
would seem to be the great differences which we 


find between individual people. This is the 
leading objection, on account of the scriptural 
warrant for it. If some of our Lord's parables 
may be capable of a socialistic interpretation, 
what about the Parable of the Talents? (Matthew 
xxv, 14 sqq.) Here it is difficult to see where 
equality of opportunity comes in, since one re- 
ceived five and another two talents. Socialists 
are in the habit of explaining this by stating that 
the only valuable part is the last, u to him that 
hath shall be given," etc., and that industry, 
faithfulness and fidelity to the commonwealth 
will be rewarded by possession of the Kingdom ; 
and, besides, that the parable is best understood 
of communities or nations. The fact of special 
privilege, however, seems to stick, though, as we 
might expect, it entails corresponding responsi- 
bilities. If it be noted in explanation that the 
talents refer to natural endowments in skill and 
capability, the difficulty remains, even though it 
takes another form. This is the chief exception 
to the Socialist contention, taken by leading 
economists in the United States, where within 
the last few months several prominent men have 
departed from their usually guarded language, 
and have asserted in plain terms their estimate 
of the Socialist theory. To them it would seem 
that no principle could be quite so absurd as the 
theory upon which the Constitution of the United 
States rests, viz. : that men are by the Creator 
intended to be free and equal. Whether or not 
we can regard the men who criticize thus as the 


products of conditions which do not allow freedom 
and equality of opportunity to all, or whether 
they are right in asserting, as they do, that 
Socialism is entirely visionary, time will tell. 
This much is true, that in what is theoretically 
the most democratic of nations, the men who 
might be supposed to read the signs of the times 
best are saying now that individualism, and 
therefore capitalism, are immovably fixed as con- 
ditions of the national life, the Constitution is in 
effect a dead document, and economic Socialism 
a dream. Their conclusions are based on the 
fact of the vast differences which obtain between 
individuals, and which, in the long run, account 
for the present social state. They tell us that 
human nature is much too large a fact, possessing 
too many phases to be levelled by legislation. It 
is neither desirable nor wise to attempt to bridge 
over the various gulfs which separate men from 
men as their natural endowments vary. The 
best we have ever done in any other department 
of effort has been accomplished by co-operating 
with nature. Here we attempt to defy her if we 
accept the Socialist's argument as valid. The 
Socialists themselves go so far as to say that 
nothing is so shallow as to think that social dis- 
order is due to economic machinery which can be 
altered without any change in men ' s hearts . The 
disorder is due to the evil which made the 
machinery. You cannot, it is true, make 
humanity good, until you have made its environ- 
ment good, and you cannot change the environ- 


ment without changing the men. The two 
must improve each other. 

XX. Things Overlooked by Socialists. 

Another fact, which is really a corollary of 
the above, is that industry and thrift seldom fail 
to win their reward, and multitudes of people 
everywhere, more especially in a new country 
like ours, with nothing as capital but health and 
strength and will, are pushing themselves for- 
ward from the poverty in which they were born 
to comparative comfort, whereas ultra-Socialism 
seems at times almost to proceed on the theory 
that classes and castes are fixed, and that the son 
of the poor man in spite of natural ability is held 
down, while the son of the nobleman or wealthy 
manufacturer, without the natural endowments, 
has every opportunity for culture and education, 
not to mention his ultimate inheritance of his 
father's property. We know this is by no means 
always the case, even in a country of long- estab- 
lished civilization, such as England, and with us 
it can hardly even be called the rule. 

There are also certain facts about capital, 
overlooked by Socialists in their efforts to point 
to its accumulation as a great evil of our com- 
plicated civilization. The very fact of its ac- 
cumulation indicates, generally speaking, the 
wisdom with which it has been invested. And 
in spite of all the taunts and abuses hurled 
against the results of the employment of capital, 


the fact remains that the facilities which it pro- 
vides are open to general public use at, in most 
cases, reasonable charges. In the majority of 
cases the scale of charges, for transportation for 
example, is fixed by provincial or state statute. 
The skilled laborer who travels, say two miles 
in fifteen or twenty minutes, along several streets 
to attend a Socialistic meeting or demonstration 
in the evening, rides in an electric car provided 
by the very capital which will be so vigorously 
attacked at the meeting, at a total outlay of ten 
cents for the round trip. It is easy to condemn, 
in a general way, the possession of capital, and 
many who claim to be Socialists are actively 
opposed to it without a due consideration of what 
capital is doing to provide facilities which affect 
our lives at every turn and in a hundred unsus- 
pected ways. The Socialist who deposits his 
surplus earnings with a bank or trust company 
is, by so doing, taking advantage of the facilities 
which capital has provided. Capital constructed 
the bank, and its employment in carrying on 
great commercial enterprises results in securing 
for the depositor a certain sum for the use of his 
funds, which he may draw out at any time, and 
which are guaranteed to him in case the bank 
should have to suspend operations, because he is 
the first consideration in such a case. It depends 
largely on one's point of view how one regards 
this large question of capital and its uses. 


XXI. Socialism in Nova Scotia. 

Although modern Socialism has never suc- 
cessfully met these difficulties, it would not be 
true to say that even their combined effect can 
dispose of it. Socialism, or at any rate the modern 
phase of it, has not really been engaging the 
attention of men long enough to enable them to 
cope with all the problems and objections it will 
have to meet. The fact that it has won the 
serious consideration of men everywhere is in 
itself no small triumph. We hear very little of 
it in Nova Scotia politically, because our country 
is so favored as to have only to a very limited 
extent the conditions which produce it. But 
even here the indications seem to point to the 
time when Socialism may become a real political 
issue. In one county of this province a labor 
party has been organized, which will have a can- 
didate in the field at the next election, and 
though this may not be the same thing as the 
unconcealed Socialism of England or Germany, 
who can say that it will not some day be regarded 
as the beginning of what will then be a Socialist 
party proper ? Before two decades we may be 
called upon to express our opinion at the polls of 
this province of the principles of economic Social- 
ism. It may be objected that this is discussing 
politics rather than the relations between Social- 
ism and the Church. But no view of modern 
Socialism can avoid that, for wherever the 
economic form of the movement is progressing, 


it is candidly and avowedly political, and mnst 
be dealt with as sncli. It need hardly be said 
that it differs radically from any form of party 
politics now existing. 

XXII. Kingsley. 

Socialism, in the fnll sense of the word, is a 
mnch greater thing than Collectivism, which is, 
after all, only a means to that larger end. Onr 
Lord nowhere insists npon Collectivism, for if He 
had it would have been regarded as an ideal, and 
human selfishness would have kept us as far 
from it as we are now from the ideal which He 
was in His life. He taught for all time, and so 
there is no such thing as arriving at a stage where 
His teaching and example are not in advance of 
us, so as to give us room for development. Many 
years before the present political phase of the 
Socialistic movement had begun to take form, 
Kingsley prepared the case, so to speak, for the 
Church in Yeast and Alton locke. Even the 
severe criticism of the Church found in those 
famous works, which was timely, and I think we 
can honestly say effective, cannot conceal the 
equally open admiration of her way of working 
when it is carried on as close to the Christian 
theory as possible, and with every effort made to 
eliminate abuses. The term " Christian Social- 
ism n which appeared at that time to describe 
the reform for which Kingsley and his followers 
contended, was objected to, and is yet, on the 


ground that the words are out of place in this 
association. At the first the term was considered 
a mis-nomer, on account, probably, of the in- 
tensely individualistic point of view even of other- 
wise upright and in every way respectable 
Christians, possibly too respectable, if respecta- 
bility be one of the faults of English churchmen, 
as it is often alleged. Christianity was old and 
thoroughly established in England ; it formed 
the very atmosphere of the nation's growth and 
life. Socialism was new and without status, 
therefore to be regarded with suspicion. The 
connection of the two ideas in this abrupt way 
naturally caused a shock, from which many have 
not yet recovered. English Christianity, as in- 
terpreted by hundreds of thousands of its adher- 
ents, had been understood as the way of preparing 
for the next world ; Socialism has largely to do 
with the problems of this one, following, as it 
believes, the teaching of Christ, who said very 
little about Heaven, but a great deal about the 
Kingdom of Heaven. 

An objection might reasonably be taken to 
the compound term from the entirely opposite 
point of view that Socialism is necessarily Christ- 
ian, and that the adjective is therefore not needed, 
and for this reason Socialists themselves have in 
many cases dropped the use of the expression, 
and if they use an alternative term, generally 
call themselves Collectivists. 


XXIII. Conclusion. 

Christianity is not individnalism. Socialists 
have come to admit that. But the Church may 
be too strongly individualistic. Nor is Christ- 
ianity all that the Socialists are contending for. 
It coincides with neither one nor the other, but 
in reality covers both, and every year brings a 
better appreciation of these complementary 
truths to both Socialists and Indiviualists. The 
age of religious competition is passing away ; and 
that of a better social activity and understanding 
among Christians is, let us hope, just before us. 
The Church has made mistakes enough ; even 
its members are well aware of that. Its repre- 
sentatives have, like the people, committed disas- 
trous sins, and there are those within the camp 
yet, as there have always been, dipping their 
hand in the dish with the Master, and, like the 
original traitor, ready to sell him to minister to 
their own personal greed. There are foes within 
as well as problems without. And with this 
admission of its own difficulties, the Church is 
more than ready to join forces with the new 
movement which has revived its old teaching. 
It is prepared to supplement Socialist activity by 
reminding the leaders of it that men cannot be 
converted by pointing to their own interests, 
strange as it may seem. The fact that Socialism 
has spread in the past, and is to-day advancing 
most rapidly in countries where people have for 
hundreds of years professed Christianity, shows 


that men must have a moral ideal held up to 
them, in addition to the strong appeal made to 
their best interests. In the last analysis it is the 
business of the Church to keep that ideal before 
men, and if the net result of the modern social- 
istic movement should be to stimulate the Church 
to attend more strictly than before to this great 
mission, her representatives may well u thank 
God and go forward."